North Wales Crusaders 22 Workington Town 36

Workington Town scored two quick-fire tries in the final quarter of the game to pull away from North Wales Crusaders and pick up a vital win in their bid to make League One's top five.

Sean Penkywicz and Tom Curwen both crossed for tries in a three-minute spell that knocked the stuffing out of Crusaders.

Up until that point, the match had been evenly contested and the lead had changed hands on a number of occasions.

Through the likes of Pencywicz, Jamie Doran and Carl Forber, though, Town had a bit more quality than their hosts in key areas of the field.

As the game went on, it was clear that North Wales were beginning to tire.

Workington managed to pick out holes in the home side’s defence more easily and, when they needed to, showed a ruthless edge in good ball area.

Crusaders opened the scoring when, after Workington had come up with an error in their own half, they shifted the ball left and Earl Hurst broke a tackle to dive over in the corner.

Town were soon on level terms, however, as Perry Singleton got past Gavin Conroy when one-on-one down the left flank and found Sam Forrester on his inside to finish the move.

Scott Rooke then thought he was over for the visitors, but his effort was ruled out as he knocked on in the act of grounding.

When North Wales went up the other end, they regained the lead through Alex Trumper, who forced his way over in the right corner.

Workington crossed again when Rooke outjumped Conroy to touch down, but it was chalked off as he was deemed to have been offside from the kick.

The referee looked as though he was going to award the try, only to consult with one of his touch judges and give a penalty to the Welsh side instead.

A couple of minutes later, though, Leon Pryce’s side were back level as Oliver Wilkes exploited a gap in Crusaders’ defence to score next to the posts.

Town had a further spell of pressure on North Wales’ line with back-to-back sets, but the home side snuffed out the danger when Penkywicz made a dart for the line from acting half.

In the final couple of minutes of the first half, the visitors took the lead for the first time through Ben Morris, who gathered Conroy’s error from a grubber kick to touch down a simple try underneath the posts.

On the half-time hooter, North Wales were given a penalty infront of the posts and opted to go for goal. Tommy Johnson was successful with the boot, reducing Workington’s advantage to 18-14 at the break.

Within a couple of minutes of the restart, Crusaders were given another penalty infront of the sticks. Johnson slotted over the kick and the hosts trailed by two points.

Town created an opening on the left as Morris put Singleton away down the wing, but play was pulled back as the pass in the build-up was called forward.

North Wales then went ahead as Kenny Baker opted for the power play on the last tackle and Dale Bloomfield managed to force his way over in the left corner.

The response from Workington was swift, though, as Penkywicz scooted over the line next to the posts from acting half.

Ryan Smith put in a testing grubber kick while Crusaders were in good field position, but Forrester covered well at full-back and managed to bring the ball out to the 20-metre line.

It proved to be a key defensive play as they went up the other end and extended their advantage to eight points through Penkywicz, who turned a tackle in the left corner to grab his second of the afternoon.

At this point, Workington’s ruck speed was causing the hosts endless problems and they added their sixth of the afternoon when Tom Curwen crashed over from close range.

Although Crusaders attempted to create openings late on, Town saw the game out comfortably in the end for what could be a very important two points come the end of the season.

Match Facts

Crusaders: Johnson, Bloomfield, Hurst, Trumper, Conroy, Smith, Lyons, Baker, Dandy, Thompson, Houghton, Wild, Brad Walker. Subs (all used): Ashall, Jonny Walker, Bate, Norman.

Tries: Hurst (5), Trumper (16), Bloomfield (52)

Goals: Johnson (4/4), Walker (1/1)

Town: Forrester, Rooke, Miller, Singleton, Hambley, Doran, Forber, Wilkes, Penkywicz, Curwen, Gordon Maudling, Morris, Scholey. Subs (all used): Moimoi, Dawson, Moore, Kurt Maudling.

Tries: Forrester (11), Wilkes (24), Morris (35), Penkywicz (54, 63), Curwen (66)

Goals: Forber (6/6)

Referee: Steve Race

Half-time: 14-18

Penalties: 7-5

Crowd: 340

Star Man: Sean Penkywicz